Rules of Induction
Another purpose of the Induction phase is to demonstrate to you that even you can lose weight while eating luxuriously. But it must be followed precisely for success! If you do it at all incorrectly you may prevent weight loss and end up saying, “Here is another weight loss plan that didn’t work.” So I want you to memorize the following twelve rules as though your life depends upon it. It does.
Fats and Oils
Many fats, especially certain oils, are essential to good nutrition. Olive oil is particularly valuable. All other vegetable oils are allowed, the best-being canola, walnut, soybean, grape seed, sesame, sunflower and safflower oils, especially if they are labeled “cold-pressed” or “expeller-pressed.” Do not cook polyunsaturated oils, such as corn, soybean and sunflower oil, at high temperatures or allow to brown or smoke. Butter is allowed. Margarine should be avoided, not because of its carbohydrate content, but because it is usually made of Trans fats (hydrogenated oils), which are a serious health hazard. (Some non-hydrogenated margarine are available in health food stores.) You need not remove the skin and fat from meat or fowl. Salmon and other cold-water fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. I cannot stress strongly enough that trying to do a low-fat version of Atkins will interfere with fat burning and derail your weight loss.
You must determine which artificial sweeteners agree with you, but the following are allowed: sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate, acesulfame-K. Natural sweeteners ending in the suffix “-use,” such as maltose, fructose, etc., should be avoided. However, certain sugar alcohols such as multirole do not affect blood sugar and are acceptable. Saccharin has been extensively studied, and harmful effects were produced in the lab when fed to rats only in extremely high doses. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has removed saccharin from its list of carcinogens, basing its decision upon a thorough review of the medical literature and the National Institute of Science’s statement that there is “no clear association 86 between saccharin and human cancer.” It can be safely consumed in moderation, meaning no more than three packets a day. Saccharin is marketed as Sweet. We discourage the use of aspartame. The FDA has approved the herb stevia for use only as a supplement, not as a sweetener.
Special Category Foods
To add variety, each day you can also eat ten to twenty olives, half a small avocado, one ounce of sour cream or three ounces of unsweetened heavy cream, as well as two to three tablespoons of lemon juice or lime juice. But be aware that these foods occasionally slow down weight loss in some people, and may need to be avoided in the first two weeks. If you seem to be losing slowly, moderate your intake of these foods.
Although it is important that you eat primarily unprocessed foods, some controlled carb food products can come in handy when you are unable to find an appropriate food, can’t take time for a meal or need a quick snack. As I mentioned earlier, more and more companies are creating healthy food products that can be eaten during the Induction phase of Atkins. Just remember two things.
How to Fashion a Food Plan from the Acceptable Foods List
During Induction and the other weight loss phases of Atkins, you will be consuming the types of foods and beverages aforementioned. Quality counts! Always aim for unprocessed natural foods and select the freshest produce you can find. If possible, purchase organic meats and dairy products. Now that you know what foods you can eat, a meal plan should leap out at you. You should instantly see that for breakfast ham, cheese and mushroom omelet, or nitrate-free bacon and scrambled eggs, or slices of smoked salmon wrapped around cream cheese would start off the day on the right note.
For lunch, the typical chef’s salad with chicken, nitrate-free ham, cheese and hard-boiled egg on a bed of greens, covered with a creamy garlic dressing, will qualify, as will a cheeseburger without the bun. (Avoid ketchup, which contains sugar.) Or maybe a chicken Caesar salad (skip the croutons) or a scoop of homemade tuna or chicken salad.
The foods you will be eating are tasty and nutrient-rich. But in starting people on my program, I have found that their vitamin and mineral reserves are often so depleted from the way they were eating before that it frequently takes a week or two of supplementation with vital nutrients to build them up again. This is one of the many reasons that, after a few days on Induction, you’re likely to experience a burst of energy.
Sample Daily Menu of 20 Grams of Carbohydrate
- Three-egg omelet with avocado
- Mozzarella cheese and tomato
- Decaffeinated coffee with cream
- Beef round steak (8 oz)
- Spinach and mixed leaf salad with mushrooms, onions, celery and parmesan cheese.
- Broiled salmon (9 oz)
- Kale topped with garlic,
- Lemon and sesame seeds.
If you’ve been bingeing on junk food full of sugar and bleached flour, then you’ve been consuming anti-nutrients, and your nutritional needs are even greater. When you eat such foods you’re doing more than just depriving yourself of sufficient supplies of important vitamins and minerals. Metabolizing those empty refined foods uses up what little stores of nutrients remain. I am always surprised when I encounter anyone over 35 years of age who eats the typical American diet of refined carbohydrates and isn’t chronically tired. Chromium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folic acid are among the nutrients that are used up faster than they can be replenished on such a diet. In fact, many Americans are deficient in chromium, a mineral needed to metabolize carbohydrate.